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12/18/2006
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Interrupted by Interruptions About Interruptions

Melanie Turek enjoyed my description of  an interview I had with a reporter (whom I called "Jane")  from a major business publication who struggled with the term "knowledge worker."  This past week, there was a lot of discussion in the press about interruptions (it started with a Reuters story that used our Cost of Not Paying Attention report on interruptions, with its now-famous $588 billion cost of interruptions p.a.) and I was taking a lot of calls from reporters, including a few on-air interviews.  The timing of one call was particularly good (although it was a minor interruption) as I was going over results from our New Workplace survey (which you can take right now online).

One reporter, Aron Bender, is the host of South Florida's First News, who reports for a South Florida radio station, called to talk about the problem (you can hear the podcast if you wish).
Unlike Jane, Aron got it.  He understood who knowledge workers were, why the cost of interruptions was as high as it was, and asked great questions.  Why am I mentioning this?  Melanie pointed out that one can find the definition easily at the Wikipedia  - something Jane seemed to think her readers might not be capable of.  Aron, who serves a much more broad demographic, saw the relevance and was able to provide his listeners with valuable and useful information about how work is done (and interrupted) in the knowledge economy.

I'm still studying how knowledge workers work - and you can help.  Take the New Workplace survey and tell us about your knowledge work and habits. We'll be reporting about that here soon.

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